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Astakos Plaki - Lobster In Tomato Sauce With Saffron Rice

Cuisine: Greek
Type: Fish
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

2   Lobsters - (about 2 lbs each) (live, or recently killed)
25   Saffron strands - soaked in
1/4 cup 59mlHot water
1/4 lb 113g / 4ozFinely chopped onion
1 lb 454g / 16ozLeek - washed, finely (medium) chopped
8 tablespoons 120mlFruity olive oil
3   Garlic cloves - minced
1 lb 454g / 16ozTomatoes - skinned, seeded, and finely chopped
4   Sun-dried tomatoes - (in oil) pounded to a paste
1/2 cup 118mlWhite wine
1/4 cup 59mlOrange juice
1   Bay leaf
  Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup 73g / 2.6ozFinely chopped fennel
1/2 cup 46g / 1.6ozMinced flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon 15mlFinely chopped fresh mint
  Saffron rice

Recipe Instructions

If you have live lobsters, plunge them into a pan of boiling water for 1 minute, then into cold water. To prepare the lobsters, break off the claws and crack them open with a hammer. Cut off the tip of the tail (with the fins), then sever the tail where it joins the head with a heavy knife. Cut the tail into rings, slicing through the shell between the ribs.

Split the head open lengthwise with a hard blow of a knife and remove and discard the gritty stomach sac. Pour the coral (if any) and the green matter (which is the liver) into a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and reserve. Put the saffron to soak.

In a heavy-bottomed pan big-enough to contain the lobsters and sauce, fry the onion and leek gently in 3 tablespoons olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and liquid, wine, orange juice, and bay leaf. Season and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Add the fennel, parsley, mint, saffron and liquid, and lobster tail pieces and claws with their shells (but not the legs) and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

In the meantime push the coral and liver of the lobster through the strainer and beat the puree with the remaining olive oil. When the lobster has simmered for 10 minutes, ladle out about 1 cup sauce and beat this into the coral puree. Pour this back into the pot, stir, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with saffron rice.

Recipes from a Greek Island - by Susie Jacobs ISBN: 0-671-74531-X


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